Free in NYC

by Christina Parrella, 10/03/2012

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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for more free events.

October 3–9

Wednesday, October 3
Design Through the Ages
As part of Archtober, the citywide architecture and design festival taking place throughout the month of October, the New York Design Center hosts a five-day showroom exhibition to raise awareness of the NYC architecture and design community. Jointly presented by New York and Dwell magazines, Design Through the Ages showcases modern design in all its glory from the 1950s to the present through vignettes created by boldfaced interior-design tastemakers such as Nate Berkus and Thom Filicia. View the display on the 15th-floor showroom from 10am to 4pm through October 5. 

Thursday, October 4
In Search of the Real Jane Austen
Jane Austen, regarded as one of the greatest English novelists in history, and her 19th-century literary masterpieces—among them Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park—continue to be embraced by new generations of readers and moviegoers who devour the razor-sharp dialogue and realistic depictions of strong women bridling against society's constraints. Austen's life and works will be celebrated through a series of workshops, sessions, readings and talks from October 4 to 7 during the annual general meeting of the Jane Austen Society at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. "In Search of the Real Jane Austen," a lecture given by Annette LeClair of Union College's Schaffer Library, will delve into the topics of sex, money and power that are ever-present in Austen's works. The session starts at 1pm. 

Friday, October 5
Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus
Created by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, this installation gives visitors a rare view of the City through Christopher Columbus' eyes and puts the explorer himself in a new setting: the center of a modern American living room six stories above Columbus Circle. This is a rare opportunity to see the statue up close, and the interior's large windows provide dramatic views of Central Park, Midtown and the Upper West Side—so get your camera ready. The exhibition is open from 10am to 9pm through November 18; an RSVP is required for entry.

Saturday, October 6
openhousenewyork: The New York City Marble Cemetery Fall Open Weekend
Opened in 1831, The New York City Marble Cemetery was the second private, nonreligious burial ground in the City and remains a fascinating sliver of history in a peaceful, pastoral setting in the thick of the East Village. Now decreed by the US National Register of Historic Places, this patch of green contains more than 4,000 bodies but no headstones—grave markers on the grass denote the owners of the vaults underground. Notable names include former NYC mayor Stephen Allen; James Lenox, a founder of the New York Public Library; and Preserved Fish, a prominent New York merchant with an odd name that always draws curious visitors to his monument. Historical displays will be on view from 10am to 5pm, highlighting the history of the cemetery as well as those buried there. 

Additional free openhousenewyork events are taking place throughout the five boroughs. Enjoy free admission all day at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx when you mention OHNY weekend at the box office; in Brooklyn, you can take a tour of the Old Stone House during the Kings County Fiber Festival; in Queens, The Noguchi Museum will comp admission; and in Staten Island, you can visit the Judge Jacob Tysen House in Historic Richmond Town for a look at early Greek revival architecture.

Sunday, October 7
Apple Festival 
New York is the second-largest apple-producing state in the country, so it's a no-brainer that this sweet, crunchy snack is the official state fruit. (The Empire State even has its own apple—yes, the Empire—a cross between the Red Delicious and McIntosh varieties.) Celebrate these and the many other varieties grown in our state at Queens County Farm Museum's Apple Festival, where a large variety of apples and their products will be available for purchase and where staff members will attempt to bake the nation's largest apple cobbler. There will even be hayrides and fun games for kids.

Monday, October 8 
Columbus Day Parade
With a dazzling array of marching bands, dancers, performers and celebratory floats (and, we're guessing, a few hand-shaking elected officials), the Columbus Day Parade honors its namesake explorer and the corresponding holiday itself in grand fashion. Fifth Avenue not only recognizes Columbus's achievements but also celebrates Italian-American figures in New York City and around the world. The parade further cements the bond between Italian-Americans and their city—a sentiment shared by New Yorkers of all backgrounds who've also flocked to the Columbus Day Parade each year for a bit of Monday revelry and camaraderie. The parade starts at 11:30am, so get there early for a prime spot. 

Tuesday, October 9
Yoga in Strawberry Fields
Commemorate John Lennon's 72nd birthday with a therapeutic and peaceful morning yoga session at Strawberry Fields, the 2.5-acre section of Central Park dedicated to Lennon and the Beatles (and located adjacent to Lennon's former residence, The Dakota). This TogetherYoga class will focus on vinyasa yoga, which engages both the mind and body in a mission to restore the body's energy and spirit while gradually warming and strengthening muscles. Led by founder Jason Amis, the mission of TogetherYoga is centered on bhakti, the Hindu concept of devotion and service. This 60-minute class begins early, at 6:30am, on the grass near the Imagine mosaic circle. Mats are not provided, so remember to bring your own. 

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
    333 Adams St.
    Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights
    NY 11201
  2. 2
    Columbus Circle
    Central Park South
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  3. 3
    The Noguchi Museum
    9 - 01 33rd Rd. @ Vernon Blvd.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  1. 4
    New York Botanical Garden
    2900 Southern Blvd.
    Bronx – Bedford Park
    NY 10458
  2. 5
    Historic Richmond Town
    441 Clarke Ave.
    Staten Island – Richmond Town
    NY 10306
  3. 6
    Queens County Farm Museum
    73-50 Little Neck Pkwy.
    NY 11004
  1. 7
    Strawberry Fields/Imagine Mosaic
    Bet 71st and 74th Sts on the Central Park West side
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10023

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